Friday, August 10, 2007


As of this writing, it was raining so hard and the wind was beating our old house that my ever sentimental myself brought me back to my childhood. Rain like this reminds of rice coffee. During those days when our municipality was not that developed and the drainage system were almost non-existent, rain causes flash floods that isolated our house from our neighbors and from stores. So when were out of coffee, what my father would do is he would roast rice and then boil them and that would be our instant coffee. I missed that coffee.

My father built a wood fired stove which we call “pugon”. What my father would do is cook maja balanca using the pugon. The warmth that the pugon radiated flowed through the house removing the damp, wet feeling. We would all be there, the whole family, in our dirty kitchen drinking coffee, eating maja blanca, talking and laughing.

I would look out of our back door and look at the flooded ricefield while my kids my age were having fun riding on a raft made out of banana trunks. I envied them. My mother would tell me, “Look at them. Their parents don’t care if they drown or got sick or…” My mother must have been reading my mind so she went on the attack first.

Earthworms. After the rain and the flood, whenever I lifted a rock or a piece of wood there were lots of squirming worms under it--must be the warmth that attracts these worms.

Sometimes birds rested in our house when it was raining very hard. I remember waking up one morning and my father was holding this beautiful multi-colored bird. My mother was feeding it. It was a beautiful bird, must be a kingfisher or something. My brother built a cage. We kept the bird but after a few days it died. Hmmm…that bird must have been attracted by the warmth of our house.

There were turtles too.

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